Sheridan charged with perjury in News of the World defamation case - Press Gazette

Sheridan charged with perjury in News of the World defamation case

Former socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan is facing an uncertain future after being charged with perjury following a probe into his defamation case against the News of the World.

Plain-clothes officers swooped on Sheridan on Sunday lunchtime outside Edinburgh’s Talk107 radio station, minutes after he had finished his weekly show.

His wife Gail was also detained by nine officers from Lothian and Borders Police at their Glasgow home, while officers searched their property.

He was taken to Gayfield Police Station in Edinburgh, where he faced questioning and was eventually arrested and charged. A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

Sheridan gave a statement upon his release from custody, in which he vowed to clear his name, no matter how long it took.

He said: “I believe I am the victim of a political witch-hunt.

“I believe this whole farcical inquiry, which has usurped an incredible amount of public resources, has been orchestrated and influenced by the powerful reach of the Murdoch empire and I believe that I am the victim of a witch-hunt from the Murdoch empire. I will prove my innocence in the fullness of time.”

He continued: “I now look forward to going back and hugging my wife and my two-year-old child, who has had to go through the very, very frightening experience of having nine police officers invade her home. She should have been at a Christmas party, but instead she has had to suffer that ignominy.”

Sheridan was quizzed as part of an investigation into claims of perjury during his defamation case against the News of the World in 2006.

The 23-day trial at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, in which several members of the Scottish Socialist Party gave evidence against Sheridan, led to a split, with Sheridan later establishing the rival party Solidarity. He won £200,000 in damages over allegations printed by the tabloid about his private life.